Advice for Au Pairs

9 Important Summer Safety Tips for Au Pairs

With summer around the corner, it’s a good time for au pairs and host families to discuss keeping kids safe during the summer months.

Here are a few tips from the Local Coordinators in Atlanta, Raleigh, Chapel Hill, Charlotte, Baltimore, and Northern VA. We encourage you to take the time to go over these suggestions as a family!

9. Sunscreen: a must for outdoor activities!

Au pair applying sunscreen to child
Image courtesy of Shutterstock

Families may have a preference for what type of sunscreen the au pair should use, so be sure to talk about what type to use, what SPF (Sun Protection Factor) number it needs to be, and how to apply it properly. For the sun sensitive folks, we recommend SPF 50+ and search for a brand that provides UVA and UVB protection.

Also be sure to remind au pairs to reapply it every few hours under the cover of shade for 15 minutes before further sun exposure. Especially after swimming and other outdoor activities to maintain protection.

8. Bug spray: keeping the itch at bay

Child with carer applying insect repellent.
Au pair applying bug spray to child
Image courtesy of Shutterstock

Along with sunscreen, bug spray can provide important protection during the summer. Bug spray will help you avoid mosquitos, ticks, and other bugs that bite or sting.

Host families should always discuss proper use of bug spray with your au pair including what kind to use, how often to apply it, and how to safely apply it to children.

7. Hats and sunglasses: another layer of protection

Kid wearing a floppy hat and sunglasses for added sun protection
Image courtesy of Shutterstock

Protecting children’s heads and eyes from the sun is important. Hats provide shade for the face and keep us cooler. Sunglasses reduce strain on the eyes and protect them from sun damage.

6. Swim safety is so important!

Two kids playing and swimming in a pool with safety floatation devices.
Image courtesy of Pixabay

Host families should discuss how well their children swim and be sure the au pair understands the type of swim support the children need (life jackets, floats, water wings, etc.)

It is always a good idea for the au pair to be in the water with the kids, even if they are confident swimmers. For younger children this is a MUST!

Only swim in approved locations where the host family has said it is ok.

5. Staying hydrated is essential.

Child drinking water
Child drinking water
Image courtesy of Shutterstock

Getting dehydrated can cause you to feel weak, lightheaded, or even lead to heat stroke or heat exhaustion. Getting plenty of water to drink will keep kids feeling their best as they play during the summer.

Learn about warning signs for heat stroke/exhaustion and what to do if it happens.

4. Pay close attention to the weather.

Lightning storm
Image courtesy of Pixabay

Thunderstorms can pop up quickly with little warning! Many local news stations have their own weather apps for phones that use the phone’s location and weather data to send you warning messages if bad weather is imminent.

If a thunderstorm is coming, seek shelter inside a sturdy building. Be sure to check out these tips from the Red Cross.

Families should discuss with au pairs where to take the kids in case of severe storms or tornados. Interior rooms on the lowest level of the home without windows are usually the safest place to be.

3. Snakes: Good vs. bad

Yellow snake
Image courtesy of Pixabay

Different parts of the US have different types of snakes, so it’s important for host families to discuss the types of snakes in your area. Don’t forget to discuss which ones are poisonous and how to avoid them.

Help the au pair know what to do in case they see a snake in the yard or at the park.

2. Never leave a child or pet in a car unattended

Au pair and child out and about in the city
Au pair and child exploring the city
Image courtesy of Shutterstock

No exceptions! Not even if the window is cracked. Even if you will only be one minute, never leave a child or pet alone in a car.

1. Create a “Summer Bucket List”

Having fun at an amusement park
Having fun at an amusement park
Image courtesy of Pixabay

Host families and au pairs can brainstorm a list of fun places to visit during the summer. Include pools, parks, museums, day trips, play dates, picnics, arts and crafts, games, and more. Post the list on a wall or door and cross off the places as you visit them

Having a list helps the au pair with planning, and everyone will learn more about the area while preventing the “I’m bored” battles that can occur during the summer.

Most of all this summer, have fun, stay safe, and explore our world! Post photos (with permission, of course) on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram and mention @interexchange to let us know how you’re having fun and exploring our world this summer.

Here are some more tips for keeping kids safe this summer!

Suzanne Miller

Suzanne is the InterExchange Au Pair USA Local Coordinator for Raleigh, North Carolina.